Rss

  • twitter

I REFUSE

help-wanted_t

The words to Josh Wilson’s song, I Refuse, say it well, “Sometimes I just want to close my eyes and act like everyone’s all right when I know they’re not. This world needs God but it’s easier to stand and watch. I could say a prayer and just move on like nothing’s wrong, but I refuse.” The chorus challenges us out of our comfort zone, “Cause I don’t want to live like I don’t care. I don’t want to say another empty prayer. Oh, I refuse to sit around and wait for someone else to do what God has called me to do myself. Oh, I could choose not to move, but I refuse!”

As His disciples, we must refuse to accept the status quo or place our lives in cruise control. We cannot do it all, but we can do something for the cause of Christ. Everyone has something to contribute as we dedicate our lives to following Him. It is easy to become overwhelmed by the truth that there is too much work to be done and too few workers to accomplish it. The need outnumbering the workers is the reality staring every leader, ministry, and church in the face. This is not a new problem and Jesus addressed it during His ministry.

Please fight the temptation to overlook familiar passages without allowing them to speak to your heart again. In Matthew 9:36-38, this is what we find, “When He saw the crowds, He felt compassion for them, because they were weary and worn out, like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few. Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.’” This passage is actually an anthem for a lifetime commitment to multiplication. A discipleship based multiplication of disciples, leaders, and churches.

Jesus makes it abundantly clear that our mission is to “make disciples” and to also “pray for workers.” We must be determined to follow through on that calling and refuse to allow anything to deter us from that God commanded pursuit. There are two elements clearly pointed out here in Matthew 9.

First, every follower of Christ must make himself or herself available for His service. Greg Laurie says, “God’s plans for your life are better than any plans you have for yourself. So don’t be afraid of God’s will, even if it’s different from yours.” It begins by dying to self!

Second, we are called to be faithful in praying to God to send other workers and laborers. Be careful before you answer this question. Is prayer your primary, go to, recruitment approach of enlisting new workers and leaders? In Disciple Making Pastor, Bill Hull says, “Leaders can employ various recruiting tools: entertainment followed by an appeal; guilt stimulation followed by an appeal; calling in favors followed by an appeal; arm twisting followed by an appeal; an old reliable, the tear-jerker film or story followed by a tear-jerker appeal. These are common, but not commanded recruiting techniques.”

This does not mean there is never a time for an appeal or that using one of these recruiting techniques is unbiblical or unspiritual. It does mean, however, that we refuse to elevate other techniques and methods over the one Jesus said we were to employ. Why is this so important? Let me quote Bill Hull again, “Jesus realized that if the unmet needs before Him were to be met, thirteen men working twelve-hour days would produce more than one man working an eight hour day.” Pastor, you need help and God never intended on you having to do it all yourself!

First, refuse to not be obedient to His mission for His church. He made it clear, “Go make disciples!” That will require refusing to only be busy with busy things. Who is discipled you and who are you discipling? You must refuse to not be intentional in this area. It took Jesus two years of mentoring the twelve before He began turning the ministry over to them. He invested in them before He released them to do the work He had called them to do. Everybody needs a Paul challenging you in the next steps of following Christ and everyone should find a Timothy to pass those steps on.

Second, refuse to not be faithful in praying for laborers. There is not only a personal commitment here but a corporate one as well. Some set an alarm on their watch for 10:02 AM or PM to remind them of the call to pray in Luke 10:2. There should also be a call to pray for laborers on a regular basis during our services and other meetings. A great idea would be to tie the time of prayer to a specific need or needs such as children’s church workers, small group leaders, or a youth pastor. Think about how little we pray at church when Jesus said it was to be a house of prayer.

Third, refuse to gripe about how little everyone else is doing compared to you. One of my favorite passages in John is where Jesus is talking to Peter. As they are walking Jesus asks him three times if he really loves Him, Peter switches the focus to John. Jesus tells him to let Him worry about John and says, “As for you, follow Me.”. Here is the reality. What sacrifice could Christ ask us to make that we should not be more than willing to make? Refuse to lose your focus about dying to self, picking up your cross, and following Him. It’s worth it!

Fourth, refuse to measure effectiveness by only measuring the obvious. Several have made reference to the “3 Killer B’s” of bodies, bucks, and buildings. We should not discount their importance, but the temptation has been to make them the metric of church health. Your size, bank accounts, or wonderful facilities do not guarantee that your church is healthy. Is your church making disciples who make disciples? Are you producing disciple makers?

Healthy church members have this mantra, “Oh, I refuse to sit around and wait for someone else to do what God has called me to do myself.”